Your cart is empty.

Robert Bond

A Political Biography

By James K. Hiller
Categories: Autobiography/biography/life Writing, History, Newfoundland And Labrador Studies, Policy And Politics
Series: Social and Economic Studies
Series Number: 84
Paperback : 9781894725477, 516 pages, November 2019

Table of contents




About This Book


Chapter 1: The Personal and Political Background

Chapter 2: Turbulent Times, 1882–1885

Chapter 3: Waiting for Whiteway, 1885–1889

Chapter 4: In Government: Fisheries and External Affairs, 1889–1893

Chapter 5: Domestic Affairs: From Railways to the Bank Crash, 1890–1894

Chapter 6: The Crisis Years, 1894–1897

Chapter 7: Interregnum: The Railway Contract and the Premiership, 1897–1900

Chapter 8: Bond as Prime Minister: The First Term, 1900–1904

Chapter 9: The Second Term: External Affairs, 1905–1909

Chapter 10: The Second Term: Domestic Issues, 1905–1908

Chapter 11: The Tie Election and the Loss of Power, 1908–1909

Chapter 12: In Opposition, 1910–1914

Chapter 13: The War Years, 1914–1919

Chapter 14: The Twenties and the Final Years, 1920–1927


Appendix: Newfoundland and Responsible Government



An in-depth view of the political actions and legacy of Newfoundland’s first Prime Minister.


  • Joint winner, Heritage and History Book Award 2020
  • Long-listed, Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award 2021


First elected to Newfoundland’s House of Assembly in 1882, Robert Bond served as a member of government and opposition—and notably as prime minister—in an era filled with challenges that still resonate today. During three turbulent decades, St. John’s burned down, the banks failed, and the drive for economic diversification caused difficult problems (and included railway building, the century’s favoured mega-project). As for external affairs—Bond struggled to negotiate reciprocity with the United States, to navigate tricky issues concerning the French Shore and to deal successfully with imperial powers in London whose priorities could vary greatly from those in Newfoundland.

In this in-depth examination of Bond’s political activity, James Hiller explores the stakes, the rivalries and the competing visions at play during the period, and he highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the man who was often at or near centre stage: Robert Bond, politician, leader and Newfoundland patriot.


"[A] comprehensive, splendidly documented, and very detailed study"

- Patricia E. Roy, The Canadian Historical Review

"Jim Hiller's biography of Robert Bond brings together elements of the story of Newfoundland's best known pre-Confederation prime minister that have been scattered through other works over the past four decades. "

- Ed Hollett, The Sir Robert Bond Papers